Identification Guide for Three Cent United States Postage Stamps

a service of

V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 400 - Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
info@vfthomas.com - 207-266-5748


(updated 16 September 2014)


Welcome to the online identification guide for three cent United States postage stamps.

Purpose of this web page: The purpose of this web page is to help you identify the Scott number for three cent United States postage stamps.

Limitations of this web page: This page often requires you to use a perforation gauge to determine how many perforations there are in 2 cm. Sometimes you will have to determine whether the paper a stamp is printed on is watermarked or not. Occasionally you will have to measure the design to determine the printing method used. These are tasks you have to perform and are not something that you can ask someone to do based on an image of a stamp. Further, this is not the place for determining the value of a stamp. There are many variables that can affect the value of a stamp, and these usually require a direct examination of the stamp. A good place to begin is a local stamp club. Club members are usually willing to give you an idea if what you have is worth a more detailed review by a dealer. They can also save you the embarrassment of walking into a dealer's shop and announcing that you have found a rare stamp, which you probably have not.

How to contribute: Feedback about this page is welcomed and should be e-mailed to info@vfthomas.com or sent by traditional mail to U.S. Postage Stamp Identifier, c/o V. F. Thomas Co.; P. O. Box 400; Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.






There are 306 United States postage stamps with a denomination of three cents. You can determine which one you have by comparing your stamp with the images below and then reading what is printed to the right of the matching image. Sometimes that will involve working your way from left to right in a table.



Washington
designs A10, A21, and A21a
These designs are so similar that only one example is pictured here.
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which type your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

Type I (image below) - "There is an outer frame line on all four sides. The outer frame lines at the sides are always recut, but the inner lines at the sides are not recut." [design A10]
   

Type II (image below) - "[T]he inner lines at the sides also recut." [design A10]
   

Type III (image below) - "There are no outer frame lines at top and bottom. The side frame lines were recut so as to be continuous from the top to the bottom of the plate. Stamps from the top or bottom rows show the ends of the side frame lines and may be mistaken for type IV." [design A21]
   

Type IV - "As type III, but the side frame lines extend only to the top and bottom of the stamp design." [design A21a]
   [image to be obtained]
perf. 151/2 type I - Your stamp is Scott #25
type II - Your stamp is Scott #25A
type III - Your stamp is Scott #26
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #26A
perf. 12 - Your stamp is Scott #41
imperf. type I orange-brown - Your stamp is Scott #10
dull red - Your stamp is Scott #11
type II orange-brown - Your stamp is Scott #10A
dull red - Your stamp is Scott #11A




Washington
design A25
without grill pink - Your stamp is Scott #64
rose - Your stamp is Scott #65
brown-red - Your stamp is Scott #104 [rare, 465 sold]
with grill grill covering entire stamp (= grill A); rose - Your stamp is Scott #82 [rare, 4 known]
grill about 18 x 15 mm, 22 x 18 points (= grill B); rose - Your stamp is Scott #82
grill about 13 x 16 mm, 16–17 x 18–21 points (= grill C); rose - Your stamp is Scott #83
grill about 12 x 14 mm, 15 x 17–18 points (= grill D); rose - Your stamp is Scott #85
grill about 11 x 13 mm, 14–15 x 17 points (= grill E); rose - Your stamp is Scott #88
grill about 9 x 13 mm, 11–12 x 15–17 points (= grill F); red - Your stamp is Scott #94
grill about 11 x 14 mm, 13–14 x 18 points (= grill Z); rose - Your stamp is Scott #85C




locomotive
design A36
with grill about 9.5 x 9 mm, 12 x 11–11.5 points (= grill G); ultramarine; hard, wove paper - Your stamp is Scott #114
without grill; blue; hard, white paper with white, crackly gum - Your stamp is Scott #125




Washington
designs A46, A46a, and A46b
These designs are so similar that only one example is pictured here.
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which design your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

design A46 (feature 1; image below) - no heavy shading on underside of ribbon at lower left portion of design
   

design A46 (feature 2; image below) - no short, horizontal mark at lower right of design
   

design A46a (image below) - heavy shading on underside of ribbon
   

design A46b (image below) - short, horizontal mark at lower right of design, on sixth row of background lines from the bottom
   
design A46 with grill; green grill 11–13 x 14–16 points - Your stamp is Scott #136
grill 10 or 11 x 10–13 points - Your stamp is Scott #136A
without grill; green - Your stamp is Scott #147
design A46a white, wove paper, thin to thick; green - Your stamp is Scott #158
hard, white wove paper; without gum; blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #169 [rare]
soft, porous paper; green - Your stamp is Scott #184
soft, porous paper; without gum; blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #194 [rare, 267 sold]
design A46b blue-green - Your stamp is Scott #207
vermilion - Your stamp is Scott #214




Andrew Jackson
design A62
Your stamp is Scott #221




Flag Ship of Columbus
design A73
[image provided by Scott Payton]
Your stamp is Scott #232




Andrew Jackson
design A89
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #253
double-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #268




Andrew Jackson
design A117
Your stamp is Scott #302




Louisiana Purchase Exposition Issue
Commemorative Series of 1904
Monroe (1758–1831)
design A132
[image provided by Scott Payton]
Your stamp is Scott #325




Washington
design A140
Based on the images and descriptions below from the Scott Specialized Catalogue, determine which type your stamp is. Then turn to the table at the right.

Type I (image below) - "The top line of the toga rope is weak and the rope shading lines are thin. The 5th line from the left is missing. The line between the lips is thin."
   

Type II (image below) - "The top line of the toga rope is strong and the rope shading lines are heavy and complete. The line between the lips is heavy."
   

Type III (images below) - "The top line of the toga rope is strong but the 5th shading line is missing as in type I. Center (vertical) shading line of the toga button consists of two dashes with a central dot. The 'P' and 'O' of 'POSTAGE' are separated by a line of color. The frame line at the bottom of the vignette is complete."
    

Type IV (images below) - "The shading lines of the toga rope are complete. The second and fourth shading lines in the toga button are broken in the middle and the third line is continuous with a dot in the center. The 'P' and 'O' of 'POSTAGE' are joined. The frame line at the bottom of the vignette is broken."
    
perf. 12
   [all type I, flat plate, and deep violet]
double-line watermark white paper - Your stamp is Scott #333
bluish paper - Your stamp is Scott #359 [rare]
single-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #376
perf. 12 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #389 [type I; flat plate; deep violet; rare]
perf. 11
   [all unwatermarked]
type I - Your stamp is Scott #501 [light violet; flat plate]
type II - Your stamp is Scott #502 [dark violet; flat plate]
type III - Your stamp is Scott #529 [violet; offset]
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #530 [purple; offset]
perf. 11 x 10 - Your stamp is Scott #541 [type II; rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22–22.25 mm); violet; unwatermarked]
perf. 10
   [both type I and flat plate]
single-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #426 [deep violet]
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #464 [violet]
perf. 10 vert.
   [all violet]
single-line watermark
   [both type I]
flat plate (design 18.5–19 x 22 mm) - Your stamp is Scott #445
rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22 mm) - Your stamp is Scott #456
unwatermarked
   [both rotary press (design 19.5–20 x 22 mm)]
type I - Your stamp is Scott #493
type II - Your stamp is Scott #494
perf. 10 hor. - Your stamp is Scott #489 [type I; rotary press (design 18.5–19 x 22.5 mm); violet; unwatermarked]
perf. 81/2 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #394 [type I; flat plate; violet; single-line watermark]
imperf. type I
   [both flat plate]
double-line watermark - Your stamp is Scott #345 [deep violet]
unwatermarked - Your stamp is Scott #483 [violet]
type II - Your stamp is Scott #484 [flat plate; violet; unwatermarked]
type IV - Your stamp is Scott #535 [offset; violet; unwatermarked]




Victory
design A150
Your stamp is Scott #537




Lincoln
design 158
overprinted "Kans." - Your stamp is Scott #661
"Nebr." - Your stamp is Scott #672
not overprinted perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #555
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #635
perf. 10 - Your stamp is Scott #584
perf. 10 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #600




Washington
design A214
Your stamp is Scott #708




Olympics
design A224
Your stamp is Scott #718




Washington
design A226
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #720
perf. 10 vert. - Your stamp is Scott #721
perf. 10 hor. - Your stamp is Scott #722




William Penn
design A227
Your stamp is Scott #724




Daniel Webster
design A228
Your stamp is Scott #725




James Oglethorpe
design A229
Your stamp is Scott #726




Washington's Headquarters
Newburg, N.Y.
design A230
Your stamp is Scott #727 or #752
Singles with this design may be Scott #727 or Scott #752 (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #752 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Century of Progress
design A232
perf. 101/2 x 11 - Your stamp is Scott #729
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #731a or #767a
Imperforate singles with this design may be Scott #731a or Scott #767a (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #767a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




National Recovery Act
"in a common determination"
design A233
Your stamp is Scott #732




Byrd Antarctic Expedition II
design A234
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #733 or a single from Scott #753
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #735a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides) or 768a
Perf. 11 singles with this design may be Scott #733 or Scott #753 (from a Farley special printing). The only way to be sure that a stamp is #753 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a line between them.

Imperf. singles with this design may be Scott #735a or 768a. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #768a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Maryland Tercentenary
design A236
Your stamp is Scott #736




Mothers of America
design A237
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #737
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #738
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #754




Wisconsin Tercentenary
design A238
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #739
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #755




Mt. Rainier
design A241
perf. 11 - Your stamp is Scott #742
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #750a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides) or Scott #758 or Scott #770a
Imperf. singles with this design may be Scott #750a or Scott #758 (from a Farley special printing) or Scott #770a (also from a Farley special printing. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #758 is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a line between them. The only way to be sure that a stamp is #770a is when it is one of a pair of stamps that has a gutter between them.




Connecticut Tercentenary
design A249
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #772
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778a (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




California Pacific International Exposition
design A250
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #773
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778b (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Boulder Dam
design A251
Your stamp is Scott #774




Michigan Centenary
design A252
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #775
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778c (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Texas Centennial
design A253
perf. 11 x 101/2 - Your stamp is Scott #776
imperf. - Your stamp is Scott #778d (usually there is some marginal inscription along one or two sides; see Scott #778 below)




Rhode Island Tercentenary
design A254
Your stamp is Scott #777




Third International Philatelic Exposition
design A254a
Your stamp is Scott #778




Arkansas Centennial
design A255
Your stamp is Scott #782




Oregon Territory
design A256
Your stamp is Scott #783




Susan B. Anthony
design A257
Your stamp is Scott #784




Sherman, Grant, and Sheridan
design A260
Your stamp is Scott #787




Farragut and Porter
design A265
Your stamp is Scott #792




Ordinance of 1787
design A268
Your stamp is Scott #795




Constitution Sesquicentennial
design A270
Your stamp is Scott #798




Hawaii
design A271
Your stamp is Scott #799




Alaska
design A272
Your stamp is Scott #800




Puerto Rico
design A273
Your stamp is Scott #801




Virgin Islands
design A274
Your stamp is Scott #802